Monday, December 29, 2014

Renzo Martens - A Shift in Power - Gentrification of the Jungle

Renzo Martens

Being a little on the down low during the holiday season, I've had a rather easy going reflective attitude about my blog posts, as I reflect on the past year.

That said, this article by Stuart Jeffries in the Guardian is not easy going, nor is it on the down low. Many folks I'm certain, are unaware  of what Renzo Martens is attempting to do, and that is to establish an arts scene in the extremely impoverished area of the Eastern Congo, in the midst of a cocoa plantation.

  Some may not agree with this project, but I believe the CBC Q interview with Renzo Martens gave him a platform to clearly defend his position, which was very well defined, and presented. He really sparked my interest, compelling me to to find out more about this visionary artist, who wants to shift the balance of power within the confines of the art and corporate world. He refers to his project, as being it a kind of gentrification of the jungle, allowing for a shift in power, that ways on the side of the artist. I will be watching closely in 2015 to observe the development of this project.

Part of the Artes Mundi exhibition with Martens's chocolate sculpture in Cardiff


Judith Joseph said...

This guy is an uber exploiter. His art practice is unabashed, cynical condescension. Next to him, Jeff Koons is Mother Theresa. If his point is that first-world culture and the art world is corrupt, he is its ambassador. I hope they cook and eat him (as "natives" are wont to do.) Even if it's all irony, it's still abhorrent on many levels.

Unknown said...

Thank you Judith for your comment.
My first thought was questioning if this was exploitation. I think the answer will be found perhaps in whether his 'efforts' make a positive difference in the lives of individuals. It is positive that his efforts open up an important dialogue at least regarding the issue of exploitation within the art, and the corporate world, where the lines between both are increasingly blurred.